Entrepreneurialism and social enterprise

We will support the creation of an entrepreneurial environment and mindset in our students and staff, which encourages collaborative approaches and a culture of social enterprise and innovation.

GCU is Scotland’s first university Ashoka U Changemaker Campus in recognition of its GCU’s leadership role in nurturing social innovation and enterprise skills.

GCU embeds responsible management, social responsibility and sustainability into all learning, teaching and research, a commitment that led GCU to become the first UK university member of the United Nations Global Compact.

GCU has experts researching the potential for microcredit to act as a health creator and generator of wellbeing. This brings a new ‘determinants of health’ perspective to the microcredit research field. The study will analyse participants’ financial management planning, extract participants’ subjective views on the relationship between income and health, and identify shared perspectives.

A world first, our MSc in Social Business and Microfinance offers students the opportunity to critically evaluate the power of business and to implement positive social change in global environments. 

Ashoka U Changemaker Campus

The University’s influence and role in addressing 21st century issues through education, research and community initiatives is endorsed at home and at an international level.

GCU is Scotland’s first university Ashoka U Changemaker Campus in recognition of its GCU’s leadership role in nurturing social innovation and enterprise skills. As one of only 30 Ashoka U Changemaker Campus institutions worldwide, GCU is a member of a network that includes Brown University, Cornell University and Johns Hopkins in the US.

Work is ongoing with the GCU Students’ Association and social entrepreneurs to offer placements within social ventures and to harness opportunities with Changemaker Campuses overseas. 

Grameen in the UK

Grameen in the UK, the micro-lending initiative facilitated by GCU, has celebrated its first year of trading and over 200 loans. It is the first such Grameen-style scheme in Western Europe. 

The Grameen lending system was created by GCU Chancellor and Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. The Glasgow-based Grameen in the UK venture was established in June 2014.

Grameen in the UK offers small loans, initially of £1000, for up to 52 weeks to new start-ups and existing small businesses currently not served by any financial services, encouraging individuals’ economic and personal development and that of their family and community.

Grameen in the UK has now secured additional financial backing of £250,000 over next three years from the Whole Planet Foundation (part of Whole Foods Group) to fund new client loans. The Moffat Charitable Trust has also granted £45,000 to fund the operational costs of moving services into Ayrshire.

GCU researchers are working with the first borrowers to investigate the viability of microcredit loans as a means of improving the finances and health of low-income individuals in the UK, in the first major study supported with evidence of the views of this population group.

Funded with a £210,000 grant from the Chief Scientist Office (CSO), part of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, the ‘Fair credit, health and wellbeing’ project aims to explore the perceived association between improved income, community connectedness and potential resulting health effects.

United Nations PRME champion

GCU embeds responsible management, social responsibility and sustainability into all learning, teaching and research, a commitment that led GCU to become the first UK university member of the United Nations Global Compact.

Developed in 2007, PRME is a United Nations (UN) Global Compact-backed initiative to promote and inspire responsible management education and research in academic institutions around the world. The global reach of the initiative now includes 500 leading business schools and academic institutions from over 80 countries.

GCU became a signatory to PRME in January 2012. The University’s participation, led by Glasgow School for Business and Society, demonstrates its commitment to ensure that the PRME principles are central to teaching, learning, and research across all disciplines.

GCU is a founding member of the UK & Ireland PRME Chapter, which was established in 2014, and now has 56 members. The Chapter’s remit is to work with higher education institutions and related bodies to support the integration of PRME in the UK and Ireland.

UHatch

UHatch, the University’s on-campus enterprise incubator, helps students, staff and alumni to start their own businesses. Its unique approach is supported by the sharing of cross-disciplinary applied knowledge and research. Since its launch in 2014, UHatch has engaged with more than 150 students and currently hosts six SMEs.